Art Gallery Exhibitions - 2008

In this exhibition photography has been used as both a scientific tool and as a means of articulating that which lies well beyond the mere objective recording of specimens. The hidden complexity of marine life is revealed through interwoven thematic currents that ebb and flow across the viewer's personal navigation. Biological and environmental conservation, animal behaviour and ecology, and human impact, all emerge as major themes.

Vibrantly luminous images of whales breaching, streamlined dolphins gliding, sudden underwater encounters with seals and vast Antarctic landscapes peppered with penguin colonies, are sharply contrasted against current environmental challenges.


  • Dates: From 15 September to 16 October
  • Partner: La Trobe University Melbourne touring exhibition

In 1964 Mike Brown produced a work - known since as "KITE" - that challenged and criticised twelve Sydney artists for their blatant embracing of the commercial art-world and its perceived pitfalls. The octagonal shaped work (which has at its' centre the cover of Hungry Horse Art Gallery's annual calendar) is dominated by Brown's essay criticising these artists. KITE: Mike Brown and the Sydney 12 returns to this monumental episode in Australian art history juxtaposing Brown's work with those whom he criticised.

Intimately connected with Yolngu language, identity, culture and law, the process of weaving is profound for the women of North East Arnhem Land. The skills and knowledge of weaving was passed down to Yolngu women from the powerful ancestral spirits, the Djan'kawu Sisters. As Lak Lak Burarrwanga says, "For us, the dillybag is a symbol of things that we have, that we know and that we can share. So these stories of weaving, of caring for country, it's like they all come from our dillybag, the dillybag that the Djan'kawu Sisters gave us long ago. We pass it on to our children and to you."

Weaving Together brings together for the first time at Macquarie University a collection of beautiful baskets, mats, dillybags and more made at the artist's homeland at Bawaka.

  • Dates: From 15 July to Saturday 23 August
  • Venue 1: Macquarie University Art Gallery
  • Venue 2: Macquarie University Library Exhibition Space
  • Curators: Keith Vincent Smith, Robin Walsh, Rhonda Davis, Leonard Janiszewski

Bennelong's River to Darug Insights explores the artery of the Parramatta River, from Memel (Goat Island) to Parramatta, as it twists like the burra (eel) that gives the river its name. The exhibition evokes the presence of the Aboriginal people of the three clans (gal) - Wallumedegal, Wangal and Burramattagal - whose lives revolved around its waters.

Woollarawarre Bennelong, who sailed from Sydney to England in 1792, was born a Wangal on the river's south bank and is buried in Wallumedegal territory on its north side at Ryde.

Macquarie University stands in what was once the country of the Wallumedegal; a name derived from wallumai, the snapper fish and matta, a word used to describe a water place. Today, many of us live, work and study in this region.

The visual strands of this local history are embedded in the physicality, naming and realisation of place. A visual dialogue emerges in which time, place, spaces of the past and present begin to merge and co-exist. These temporal effects unfold to provide a reinterpretation of Bennelong's historical presence overlapped by Darug connections to this land-and-water place.

The vestiges and markings of place surveyed in Bennelong's River to Darug Insights brings cultural discourse together with historical narrative that is critical to our understanding of the connection between place and people.

A rich visual story flows between two exhibition spaces, acknowledging the river clans. It is based on a diverse range of sources and media: historical images, documents, books from the Rare Book Collection, University Library, on-site fieldwork, artefacts, contemporary photographs, art work and performance.

Contemporary artists are Robyn Caughlan, Kerrie Kenton, Laurissa Onato, Rebecca Smith, Chris Tobin, Leanne Tobin and Shannon Williams.

  • Dates: From 15 May to 7 July

Looking Out through recent video art explores the notion of identity as a construct mediated by contemporary culture and society. Manifold forms of identity emerging within Looking Out seemingly dissolve the boundaries between reality, ideology, and fiction.

The role of the performative body manifest within each individual artist's work encapsulates the nuances of self as an embodied lived experience that can be recreated, renewed and energised to name but a few.

The exhibition has been organised by Macquarie University's Division of Society, Culture, Media and Philosophy and the University Art Gallery in collaboration with the artist, Christopher Hanrahan.

  • Hany Armanious
  • Fabian Astore
  • Guy Benfield
  • Destiny Deacon and Michael Riley
  • Matthew Griffin
  • Christopher Hanrahan
  • Laresa Kosloff
  • James Lynch
  • Ms & Mr
  • Todd McMillan
  • Kate Mitchell and Marley Dawson (As Riki Tiki Tavi)
  • Pete Volich
  • Tony Schwensen
  • Sam Smith

  • Dates: From 17 March to 30 April
  • Curators: Rhonda Davis and Philip Hayward

Transitions has been organised in association with a month long event entitled From Marginality to Resurgence: European Island and Regional Cultures in the late 20th and early 21st Centuries. Together with this exhibition, the event comprises seminars, conference sessions, a concert and related publications.

Europe's islands and regions have been affected by a series of developments in the 20th and early 21st Centuries. Prime amongst these has been depopulation, as inhabitants relocate to metropolitan and/or overseas locations in search of better work, education and/or socialisation prospects. Many European island and regional communities are now in the position of having a majority of their populations dispersed from their traditional homelands. This has created new international dimensions to 'inter-local' networking and family structures. It has also threatened the infra-structural viability and social and cultural morale of communities as they 'down-size'.

The exhibition captures the experiences and perceptions of a number of artists concerned with European island and regional cultures since the 1950s and with the experiences of migrants from these locations to Australia.

Transitions offers glimpses of the landscapes, culture and social transitions of island locations such as the Azores, Kythera, Lofoten and Sicily along with continental locations such as Brittany, Normandy and southern Spain. It also presents images of Australia as experienced by migrants from European regions.

The artists are Effy Alexakis, Angela Cavalieri, Nathalie Hartog-Gautier, Axel Poignant, Fernando Gil Pereira Resendes, Claudia Terstappen, Jeremy Welsh, and Salvatore Zofrea.

Men playing cards
Salvatore Zofrea
Men playing cards

Angela Cavalieri
Isola 2007
Hand-printed linocut and oil paint on canvas

Boxes for Memory
Nathalie Hartog-Gautier
Boxes for Memory
Video installation

Young girl in church doorway, Caltanissetta
Axel Poignant
Young girl in church doorway, Caltanissetta

Azorean Island
Fernando Resendes
'Azorean Island' Series 2008

Lofoten Island
Jeremy Welsh
'Lofoten Island' Series 2007 Photographs

Cruz del Romero Spain
Claudia Terstappen
Cruz del Romero Spain (Andalucia)
1994 C-prints

My grandparents' home
Effy Alexakis
My grandparents' home
Sikea, Peloponnese, Greece

'Personal Effects' Series 2008


  • Dates: From 23 Jan to 8 Apr February 2008
  • Theme: Sydney Harbour from the 1940s to recent times
  • Curator: Gavin Wilson

Big Orange
Brett Whiteley Big Orange (Sunset), 1974
Oil on collage on wood, 244 x 305cm

Night Road to the Harbour Bridge

Kevin Connor Night Road to the Harbour Bridge, 1987
Oil on canvas 183 x 198.3cm

Luna Park and Bridge at Night
John Firth-Smith Luna Park and Bridge at Night, 1964
Oil on masonite 91.4 x 122cm

The Regatta
Roland Wakelin The Regatta, 1966
Oil on pulpboard 86.5 x 110.7cm
Collection: National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
© Roland Wakelin estate




Sydney Harbour is one of the most painted, photographed and eulogised subjects in the country's cultural life. Harbourlife brings together a diverse body of works from the past 65 years that will give viewers an opportunity to trace artists' responses to the harbour experience that, in many instances, reveals a deep-felt sense of the quality of life at a particular time and place.

The exhibition consists of paintings, photographs, works on paper and ceramics, and examines the dramatic transformation of Sydney's working harbour and waterways since the 1940s.